The 29th annual festival is planned Sept. 28 and 29 at Boling Park in Canton and is one of the Service League’s major fundraisers each year to raise money to help community children in need.
Cookbooks have also played a major role in fundraising throughout the Service League’s 78-year history of helping others in Cherokee County.
“Gatherings & Traditions” is the fifth cookbook published by the Service League over the years. The latest cookbook is touted as once again capturing the essence of Southern cooking through timeless cross-generational recipes, creating traditions and lasting memories as families and friends gather around the dinner table.
Samples of select recipes will be presented to festival patrons for tasting, and cookbooks will be available for purchase at Riverfest, where the cookbook will debut. Cost of the new cookbook is $14.95 plus tax.
The book contains 350 recipes submitted by Service League members, honorary members, family and friends, said cookbook committee co-chair Lisa Woodruff.
“The cookbook committee was talking for a while about what we wanted the name to be. We wanted to maintain tradition with this book, but wanted it to stand on its own also,” said Woodruff, who along with Bonny Spears, headed up the more than two-year project. “We wanted it to be a little more relevant to how people cook now, people are always going places, taking dishes, or doing a quick meal.”
Woodruff said most people have that one special recipe they like to make and take with them to gatherings.
“Wherever you are going, you have a special dish that you are known for, or it is a family recipe, and we thought how great that when you are going somewhere, you could pull from other recipes that are special,” she said.
The Service League represents being a part of someone’s family and bringing joy to others, and that is what the new cookbook represents as well, Woodruff said.
“Molly Mercer said it is about gatherings, as well as traditions, and we thought that was a great name,” Woodruff said.
Recipes, such as one that has to do with Mercer’s family, are part of what sets the cookbook apart, Woodruff said.
“A recipe that Molly talked about — the Cream Cheese Pound Cake recipe from an earlier Service League cookbook that everyone in her family makes a variation for different occasions — is a tradition and we have all those variations that we love to make,” Woodruff said.
The Mercer family Cream Cheese Pound Cake Variations recipe is also in the newest cookbook. Cream Cheese Pound Cake Variations includes a Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cream Cheese variation, a Christmas Cake variation and even Petit Fours.
The original recipe was in “Cherokee Entertains,” the third cookbook published by the League.
The cookbook committee will have it for tastings at Riverfest as well as some of the variations, Woodruff said.
The cover of the latest cookbook has an up-to-date look that will fit well in anyone’s kitchen, Woodruff said.
The cookbook will not go on sale until Riverfest.
In its 29th year as a fall family tradition in north-metro Georgia, the Riverfest Arts and Crafts Festival will take place along the banks of the Etowah River on Sept. 28 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sept. 29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The juried show features more than 200 exhibitors, concessionaires and entertainers.
Admission for adults and children 11 and older is a $5 donation. The event will take place rain or shine. Free parking and shuttle services are available.
Established in 1935, the Service League of Cherokee County is a volunteer group of 90 women who work year-round, collectively volunteering more than 10,000 hours per year to raise funds for local needy children. To find out more about the work of the League, visit www.serviceleague.net.